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Has the Greens’ plan to phase out gas gone unnoticed?

By Southerly_views 28 September 2016 23

gas-istock

The Clean Energy Future announcement by the Greens in mid-September stated that if elected they intend to phase out natural gas usage across the territory in stages by 2020 through to 2030. This new policy appears to have gone largely unnoticed by local residents. One dot point even states that they intend to change the national Building Code of Australia to prevent gas hot water installations in new houses.

The Greens policy states that:

“Gas is expensive, dirty, and unnecessary, and the ACT Greens will stop the rollout of expensive new gas infrastructure in new suburbs. It is irresponsible to connect new homes to the gas network when householders can access cleaner and cheaper energy by using just electricity”.

The ACT Greens will invest $15 million over 4 years to:

  • Stop the rollout of expensive new gas infrastructure in all new suburbs.
  • Remove all ACT Government incentives that encourage householders to install gas appliances (for example, through the EEIS and wood heater replacement program).
  • Set a minimum gas standard of 5 stars for all new gas appliance installations.
  • Mandate that replacement hot water systems must not be gas.
  • Change the Building Code of Australia requirements to prohibit gas hot water services in new houses.

The ACT Greens will also encourage households to transition away from gas by:

  • Providing a 20% rebate on up to $10,000 spent upgrading gas appliances to energy-efficient electric appliances such as split system heating systems and efficient hot water systems (solar or heatpump) for households earning less than $100,000 per annum. 
  • Replacing gas heating appliances with energy efficient electric heating for those in low-income households.

Read the Green’s No-Gas policy in full.

The policy document makes for some enthralling reading with words like dirty, unnecessary and irresponsible used to describe the natural gas network. And yes, gas is constantly going up in price but we should continue to have the right to choose how we heat our water or cook our meals. Many restaurants and businesses across Canberra use gas for all different reasons.

We live in a Canberra house with gas heating and a gas stove as do thousands of other residents. Last year our gas stove in the kitchen finally died after 20 years and we looked at both gas and electric induction as a replacement. The layout of our house meant the additional cost and effort of running high amperage wiring between the meter box and the kitchen to power the induction stove was so high it was simply  beyond consideration. The old cooker was replaced with another gas stove. Even higher wiring costs would be involved for installing a replacement electric hot water system located on the opposite side of the house to the meter. I am reasonably sure not even a Green’s supported rebate would finance the significant changeover costs in our house.

If this No-Gas policy is implemented it will be a massive change to Canberra’s underground infrastructure. Residents and businesses in some suburbs will have a gas connection and newer suburbs will be left without. Going back in future years to provide gas infrastructure to the suburbs built without gas pipelines would also be prohibitively expensive.

What are your thoughts about the Green’s election proposal for substantial alterations to the city’s future energy infrastructure?

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Has the Greens’ plan to phase out gas gone unnoticed?
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dungfungus 6:43 pm 05 Oct 16

Grail said :

Southerly_views said :

wildturkeycanoe
“I bet those in S.A. right now who have gas cooktops and hot water systems are grinning, being able to cook and shower whilst everyone else has cold spaghetti and sponge baths.”

It is called community resilience.

A choice of gas and electricity helps the population to self-support when incidents or natural events overwhelm the local region. The short memory of many Canberran’s allows them to forget the impact of the 2003 bushfire emergency when electricity supplies to some suburbs were cut for several days.

These days you would address that issue with household batteries. When the grid is workinas expected you trade electricity on the national wholesale market. When the grid isn’t working you have a supply of electricity independent of the grid.

…. as long as the sun is shining every day.

Grail 4:16 pm 05 Oct 16

Southerly_views said :

wildturkeycanoe
“I bet those in S.A. right now who have gas cooktops and hot water systems are grinning, being able to cook and shower whilst everyone else has cold spaghetti and sponge baths.”

It is called community resilience.

A choice of gas and electricity helps the population to self-support when incidents or natural events overwhelm the local region. The short memory of many Canberran’s allows them to forget the impact of the 2003 bushfire emergency when electricity supplies to some suburbs were cut for several days.

These days you would address that issue with household batteries. When the grid is workinas expected you trade electricity on the national wholesale market. When the grid isn’t working you have a supply of electricity independent of the grid.

Grail 4:11 pm 05 Oct 16

We should have the right to choose?

So you would be comfortable with a return to lead based paint, leaded petrol, asbestos insulation, and smoky wood fired heating?

Or are you simply operating on the assumption that the evil Greens are going to force you to rip out your functional appliances and replace them with super expensive electrical versions?

There will be funding to help people on low incomes. The cost of changing over is something to be addressed in ten-year household budgets. So if it was going to cost $3000 to get the new wiring for water and kitchen put in place, that’s close to $300 a year for ten years (I would save more, to allow for emergency replacement).

For people who do not have that kind of money, there is also the option of lobbying for extra assistance.

There will be no future expansion of the gas network. Our domestic production is far more valuable to its owners as exports into the international market.

I am all for shutting down the fossil fuel industry. I would prefer my country remain solvent rather than go into recession due to spending on rehabilitstion of abandoned mines and bores. I would prefer farmlands over industrial wastelands.

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